As comebacks go, to quote another band who also started out in the late 1980’s, Bradford’s has seemingly been forever delayed. Originally feted by none other than Morrissey after he heard their debut single Skin Storm – the ex-Smith also later covered it – the quintet from Blackburn swiftly found themselves signed to influential producer Stephen Street’s label and in the studio with him recording Shouting Quietly, a first album which mixed politics with soulful indie jangle.
Unfortunately for them, soulful indie jangle in 1990 was about as fashionable as tight trousers. Swamped by the tsunami of e-friendly crossover invented just down the road, their frustrated dissolution a year later was an inevitable case of wrong place, wrong time.
Shouting Quietly has grown in stature in the following three decades and it’s minor classic status meant that the band’s original core and Street were reunited in the process of creating a much expanded reissue in 2017. The long-anticipated meetings led to some further magic happening – and Bright Hours is the result.
Perhaps chastened by so long out of the spotlight but equally without it’s pressure, Bright Hours boldly mixes up styles – banjo on The Weightlessness of Pointlessness, incongruous dub on Present Day Array – and ruminates on ageing (Like Water) and the double edged sword of memory (My Wet Face). It peaks though with the spiritual ballad Gave A Time, a song well worth waiting any amount of time for.
You can read a full review here.